Monday, 1 August 2011

Delirium - Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Grade: YA
Rating: 5/5

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

(Description from Goodreads)

When society tells you that without 'the cure' you will be 'diseased' by love, would you believe them? It's hard to imagine growing up without the chance to love, but Lauren Oliver's 'Delirium' shows just that, to be cured means no longer being ruled by unpredictable emotions like Love. 

Lena Haloway has had a rough childhood: a mother who cannot be cured, a dead father and a sister who was momentarily diseased before being successfully cured. And now, living with her aunt and uncle, Lena is desperate for her 18th birthday when she will finally be cured and safe from love. But all that changes when she meets Alex. 

As with most dystopias, I’m amazed at how constricting society is. Walls are placed up everywhere, and it’s strange to see how the majority of the population just accepts that they’re in place for a reason. It’s only a few who question things like why there is an electric fence to keep out the “non-existent Invalids” from the Wilds (the uncured parts of the US); how illegal music sites are managing to pop up online; and why you are forced to pick your future partner from a list of 4 candidates. 

Fear is a main factor for sticking to the rules, and I love how Lauren Oliver uses Lena’s fear to show the transition from a sheltered 17 year old, who wants only to live by the rules of the cured, into someone who wants to fight the cure at all cost. Fear is always present, yet it changes as Lena’s understanding of her world changes; the fear of love becomes the fear of not being able to love. 

I love how much Lena and Alex relax when they're together, like nothing else matters in the world. They're able to let go of all their troubles in each other's arms. It was this connection between Alex and Lena that made me love them so much; being together and admitting they love each other, despite society’s attempts to break them apart with the cure, arranged marriages and segregation from the Wilds. And yet, their relationship was always fragile. You get the feeling that it can’t last forever; that something will happen to tear them apart.

A fantastic story about love, freedom and the right to choose your own life. 'Delirium' is an addictive read, you can't help but fall in love with Lena and Alex and their struggle to overcome society's restrictions on relationships.


Review first posted on Goodreads.


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